Friday, November 6, 2015

Doctor Carson and his Amazing Technicolor Labcoat

Dr. Ben Carson has finally said something outlandish enough that it induced me to remark on it.  I'll let Wonkette have the honors of explaining: Surprise, Dr. Ben Carson’s Latest Pyramid Scheme Involves Actual Pyramids.*
My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.
Carson, of course, is referring to the well-known biblical account of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in which a dream warns Joseph, held as a slave by the Pharaoh, to stockpile grain during a period of plenty to tide Egypt over during a seven-year famine, saving the grateful nation and inspiring a musical treatment by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which is why the Egyptians worshipped Cats. And to Carson, it’s obvious the huge granaries for that project would still have to be around, since everything in the Bible actually happened, like Noah’s Ark.
I guess Dr. Carson accepts the following advice, whether it comes from the Bible, folklore, or Andrew Lloyd Webber.

After all, it made the character of Potiphar from the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat film rich.

Starring Maria Friedman as the Narrator, Joan Collins as Potiphar's wife and Donny Osmond as Joseph. From the 'film version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.'
Follow over the jump for more.

Wonkette isn't done skewering the idea.
And darned if pyramids aren’t really big buildings! Really big buildings utterly unsuited to storing seven years’ worth of grain for a nation, seeing as how they’re mostly solid blocks of stone. As Smithsonian Magazine notes, the Great Pyramid of Giza’s “known passages and vaults occupy a mere 1/7,400th of its volume,” which seems like a hell of a lot of insulation with very little room left for grain storage.

Ah, but Carson wasn’t quite finished science-ing at his listeners:
And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons. And various of scientists have said, “Well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how–” you know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you.
So take that, all you scientists who say aliens built the pyramids as tombs for the Pharaohs. Get thee back to basic cable, ye Deceivers! Not surprisingly, the belief that the pyramids were “Joseph’s Granaries” is not Carson’s very own invention; it’s been around since at least the sixth century.
So it's not an original idea.  Just the same, it's not what archeologists, historians, and others who think scientifically accept as the reason for the pyramids' construction.  Dr. Carson should know better.  The problem is that he thinks he does.

*Wonkette is referring to Carson's fundraising, about which Matthew Yglesias of Vox wrote A shocking amount of conservative politics is a multilevel marketing scam, a situation that Paul Krugman called Springtime for Grifters.  I'll have more on this later.  Stay tuned for that and the latest news about Doctor Pyramid from Michigan.


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